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Well it’s certainly been a couple of weeks to forget for the kennel, not for winners as they are ticking over nicely but mainly due to a horrendous run of injuries we have experienced lately. I know it’s part of the game, though a rare occurrence when a Greyhound breaks down or goes lame, but it’s still very frustrating having to deal with everything surrounding these injuries. After Black Farren’s high profile and well documented injury 10 days ago we suffered another severe blow to our kennel and of course the owners when Bruisers Bullet sustained a career threatening injury on Monday night after a trial at Nottingham over 500m. He appeared to go nicely recording a satisfactory 29.76 in preparation for the forthcoming Select Stakes but unfortunately the next morning he was badly dipping on his front leg and his wrist was swollen. A trip to the vets (Stefano Malegori) revealed a small chip on the front of the wrist which is not great news. The chip is difficult to remove as you could cause more damage than good in an operation so the best course is to give it time, the chip will eventually callous back on to the main bone but its 50/50 whether it causes future problems. He will be off for three months and then we can evaluate the situation when he is re x-rayed. To think Bruisers Bullet only two weeks ago was 4th in the Greyhound Derby Final and was looking forward to a busy second half of the year and now he looks uncertain to race again, the ups and downs of our sport are incredible at times.
As if the above was not bad enough our improving Goldsmith Slick broke down the next night with a badly broken hock, again at Crayford. After an operation to fix the damage he will not race again but as in most cases he will make a really nice pet, he’s a strapping brindle dog and has a lovely temperament. Crayford is a track we have been hugely successful at over the years having won two Golden Jackets and seven Peter Bussey’s amongst others with an incredible strike rate so I feel we really know what kind of dog to put around the tight contours. With several injuries in May/June at various tracks there surely has to be a connection between the heavily salted tracks (right up mid April this year) and then a sharp rise in temperatures and what that actually does to the track surfaces. For me we need to make an industry wide call to specifically sort out these issues and find some expertise in this field, I’m sure groundsman at all tracks do the best they can in the circumstances but how many of them can genuinely say they are experts in track preparation. If we don’t seek help then surely we are, as a sport, creating a huge welfare issue for ourselves. Meanwhile the bookmakers continue to bury their heads in the sand on proper funding for the sport which they make vast profits from, a decent fund would allow us to pay for the proper experts to get to grips with this track problem. Not only have the bookmakers continually dodged paying what they should they now give us the same old bullshit ‘well if their not paying neither will we’ story, it’s now got beyond the joke! our Greyhounds are getting needlessly injured which is heartbreaking!
Our Ladbrokes Gold Collar on Tuesday at Crayford was a disaster overall with the injury to Goldsmith Slick and both our fancied runners Ninja Penny and Saleen Ash getting eliminated at the first stage however as the week progressed we had better news on the track with a few winners including our other Derby finalist Bombers Bullet when over 575m for the first time he recorded a flying 34.75 (6 spots off the clock) at Romford, the track was on the fast side but it was still an exceptional run. At the moment I’m picking our open races out very carefully as I’m frightened of risking anything like running a track without having a trial etc.
At Yarmouth on Thursday in the heats of the George Ing St Leger both of our entries were drawn together (now there’s a surprise!) in what could easily have been the final. Garryglass Champ and Rubys Rascal missed it a touch but it was Champ who chased the leaders and lost out in a tight photo for the all important second place. When your lucks out its out and I honestly thought Champ had got up for second place but just missed out. Rubys Rascal was badly bumped at the first bend and nearly finished over the hare rail. With so many entries for the competition it was baffling to see why entries were accepted for dogs that hadn’t had a trial at the track, one notoriously difficult to run first time. I’m not slating the track which I love and I love going there but sometimes you just have to scratch your head at times. I strongly believe that tight bended tracks like Yarmouth, Crayford, Peterborough, Pelaw Grange and Poole should not allow open race entries unless they have had one or more satisfactory trials at the track they intend running at, this can be clearly stated in the calendar.
So watching Rubys Rascal having to jump around and nearly finish in the fence forced John Clarke, his owner, and myself to call time on a brilliant career. It seems like every time we go open racing with him these days he is forced to run from adverse draws and we can’t bear to see him get hurt despite knowing he probably had another few good races in him. 42 wins in top company including making 7 Category 1 Finals barely scratches the surface of a wonderful career. Winner of the Yorshire St Leger in 2016 was followed up last year with a stunning St Leger victory at Perry Barr, a year after being bashed around in the final at Wimbledon. A magnificent second when tried over 906m in the TV Trophy final and two consecutive Regency finals (both had bad draws) as well as a Golden Jacket Final on Crayford’s tight circuit were just the highlights. We owe him big time as he won his legs both years in the Trainers Championship meeting with this year’s being one of my favourite highlights of his career when coming from a mile off the pace to snatch victory right on the wire which landed us a famous victory overall. A stack of fastest runs of the year and two track records at Perry Barr and Towcester showed not just how great he was in competitions but how fast he was when right in the zone which catapulted him to win the GBGB industry award for Stayer of the Year for 2017. Without doubt if we had a Hall Of Fame for the kennel (I’m working on this for the website) he would be very high up the board, a true legend!
Also retired is Rubys Razzle after she came into season and she is off to the breeding paddocks and though her 21 race winning career doesn’t quite match up to her brother's she has been a high quality bitch in her own right. A stellar 2017 saw her win the Prestige at Hall Green before a brilliant second place in the Golden Jacket at Crayford. Her crowning moment was at Harlow where she landed the Category 1 Tigerloanscompany.com Gold Cup beating the future Greyhound Derby winner Astute Missile and her prolific kennelmate Roswell Romanov.
In a couple of days full details will be up for our popular 5 To Follow competition. Apologies for being a bit late but with so many changes to our racing strength at least we will have what should be every one of our Greyhounds up that will be running from the start date on July 1st.
As said no luck at Crayford on Tuesday in the Gold Collar heats with just Garryglass Teddy qualifying in 3rd spot. Yarmouth on Thursday was equally disappointing but we bounced back at Romford on Friday with two winners from three runners. Bombers Bullet
made light work of his rivals in a 575m Maiden winning well by over 5 lengths in a super fast 34.75, All Slick Now took a hot heat of the Friday Night 500 Standard in 24.05 but Roswell Romanov suffered a rare defeat when finding all kinds of trouble in the last race.
On Sunday at Henlow both Brinkleys Rosie and Kilcree Diamond were in the first hot semi final of the Mini Derby and it was left to Brinkleys Rosie to chase home the impressive Queen Adele who again broke the track record when scoring by 7 lengths in 25.26.
On Friday night there were second places for Roswell Martian on debut and a good run from the improving Culchieland and a narrow defeat for Tangled Upinblue before Castlerock Lass (soon to be Tiffield Lady) took the last race on her debut running well to score by a head in 28.88.
A couple of nice winners Saturday morning with Gully Foyle
running well to score in an A8 in a decent 28.79 and Saffrons Tina taking an S2 in 42.39. A decent card in the evening saw Parkers Dynamite on the winner's podium again taking an H1 in 29.11. Silva Hill looked good winning an A3 well in 28.43 and in a quality D1 contest Cotton Pants got the better of kennelmate Shlowdown Sally to win in 15.96. Ninja Fortune was impressive in a very good B1 scoring by over 5 lengths in a fine 29.13 while Union Pride (2nd) and Kiltrea Mike (3rd) lost out narrowly in an S1 and Plan Ahead was also second in an A2.
On Sunday Nothing But Love became the first pup from our former kennel star Evanta Evita to win when she came from last to first to score in an A9 in 29.54. Energize Honey, Potman and Deans Hail Mary all ran well when second.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
OPEN RACING - BOMBERS BULLET
GRADED - GULLY FOYLE
WHAT'S ON NEXT WEEK
Tonight the semi final of the Ladbrokes Gold Collar at Crayford sees just Garryglass Teddy from our team. We will have open racing at Yarmouth on Thursday, Romford on Friday with also some welcome opens on at Towcester on Saturday while on Sunday the Henlow Mini Derby Final takes centre stage and Brinkleys Rosie goes in the £2,500 to the winner event.
WEBSITE RECOMMENDED BETS
After a very profitable few weeks we blew out on Tuesday at Crayford with both Saleen Ash and Ninja Penny eliminated from the Gold Collar heats. I can’t see too much to see a bet this week so we will wait for another time.
ADVISED LAST WEEK
SALEEN ASH - 2.5 pts ew ante post 10/1 - Ladbrokes Gold Collar - Crayford - lost
- 1.5 pts ew ante post 12/1 - Ladbrokes Gold Collar - Crayford- lost